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Accreditation for 2019-20

The Virginia Department of Education on Sept. 30 released school accreditation status for the 2019-20 school year:

  • Walnut Hill Elementary is accredited.
  • Cool Spring Elementary, Lakemont Elementary, Pleasants Lane Elementary, Vernon Johns Middle and Petersburg High are accredited with conditions.

“We celebrate Walnut Hill achieving the top accreditation standard two years in a row. But we want every school to achieve the top standard,” said Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin, superintendent of Petersburg City Public Schools. “We have established expectations that we believe will lead to all schools being accredited a year from now.

Petersburg schools are focusing on ‘Digging Deeper, Growing Higher’ in order to achieve the goals we have set.”
Here are the goals Petersburg schools are working to achieve:

  • Accredited schools
    • Teach the Virginia Standards of Learning
    • Know what students have learned and not learned
    • Provide instructional interventions during the school day
  • Increased student attendance — 95%
    • Communicate student attendance expectations
    • Monitor attendance data
    • Provide early interventions
  • Increased access and opportunity for students
    • Diploma Plus — The Petersburg Way

To determine accreditation status, the state Department of Education uses several indicators, including growth and proficiency on Standards of Learning tests, achievement gaps and absenteeism. High schools are also evaluated on graduation and completion and dropout rate. Schools are rated at level 1, 2 or 3 for each indicator. Schools rated at level 1 or level 2 for all indicators achieve accredited status. Schools rated at level 3 for any indicator achieve accredited with conditions status.

Here are the indicators and levels that Petersburg schools achieved:

  • Walnut Hill Elementary: Level 1 for English achievement; mathematics achievement; science achievement; mathematics achievement gaps; chronic absenteeism. Level 2 for English achievement gaps.
  • Cool Spring Elementary: Level 1 for chronic absenteeism. Level 2 for mathematics achievement; mathematics achievement gaps. Level 3 for English achievement; science achievement; English
    achievement gaps.
  • Lakemont Elementary: Level 2 for chronic absenteeism. Level 3 for English achievement; mathematics achievement; science achievement; English achievement gaps; mathematics achievement gaps.
  • Pleasants Lane Elementary: Level 1 for mathematics achievement; mathematics achievement gaps; chronic absenteeism. Level 2 for English achievement; English achievement gaps. Level 3 for science achievement.
  • Vernon Johns Middle: Level 1 for chronic absenteeism. Level 3 for English achievement; mathematics achievement; science achievement; English achievement gaps; mathematics achievement gaps.
  • Petersburg High: Level 1 for English achievement; dropout rate; graduation and completion. Level 2 for English achievement gaps. Level 3 for mathematics achievement; science achievement; mathematics achievement gaps; chronic absenteeism.

Dr. Pitre-Martin, whose first day as Petersburg superintendent was July 1, said, “As I have spent time getting acquainted with the Petersburg community, here are three truths I have learned:

  • “Petersburg students are smart, talented and resilient. When our schools and other community organizations provide opportunities and support, our students can compete with students from any other locality.
  • “Our teachers and school employees work hard and are dedicated to the young people of Petersburg. We will support our teachers and employees in strategic ways so that they are better positioned to help students succeed.
  • “Community support is strong for our students, teachers and schools. That is so important because schools cannot succeed on their own: It absolutely takes a village.”


Click here for a report for each school and for the school system.

Click here for additional information about how the state determines accreditation status.